1 9 6 5 – 1 9 7 3 (UK)
285 x 30 minute episodes
BBC2’s Thirty-Minute Theatre was an attempt to reintroduce live drama to British television at a time when most programme-makers had put the method behind them.
However, the live element didn’t last long, being phased out in favour of the convenience of pre-recording.
Even so, a handful of the series’ plays remained live until 1968. One of the last was The News-Benders, directed by Rudolph Cartier starring Donald Pleasence and Nigel Davenport, with themes of extreme surveillance and television as tools to control the masses.
A veritable who’s-who of British television appeared in the 285 episodes, including Edward Fox, Donald Pleasence, Edward Woodward, Rachel Roberts, Peter Cushing, Denholm Elliott, Dinsdale Landen, Googie Withers, Leonard Rossiter, Billie Whitelaw, Patrick Magee, Amanda Barrie, John Le Mesurier, Martin Shaw, John Alderton, Sheila Hancock, Pauline Collins, Sam Kydd, Rosemary Leach, Patrick Troughton, Keith Barron, Prunella Scales, Tom Conti, Barry Evans, Bill Maynard, Peter Cook, Margaret Nolan, Joan Sims, Felicity Kendal, Bob Peck and Steven Berkoff.